Indiesigns has launched an initiative to have independent artists produce COVID-19 signage with a positive and design-forward aesthetic. Its goal is to help businesses reopen safely without compromising on design. The launch is a new product pivot from Indiewalls, a corporate art consultancy whose business was drastically impacted by the economic shutdown.
“They say that necessity is the mother of innovation, but if you are not in a creative, open-minded mindset then innovation is impossible,” said Ari Grazi, president of Indiewalls/co-founder of Indiesigns. “With so many changes to our society, open-mindedness and creativity are crucial right now. In our case, we were blindsided—like most people—by the drastic impact COVID-19 would have on our business. When we were thinking of ways we could continue to financially support artists and keep our printers running, the idea of producing safety signage and decals dawned on us.”
The Indiesigns products help businesses reopen, keep the public safe and support artists who have suffered loss of work as a result of the pandemic.
“Right now, there are a lot of emotions swirling around our society, and some of them are particularly negative— frustration, fear, boredom, anger, etc. We see art and great design as counterforces for these emotions, when used in the appropriate form. For example, take an experience that could be frustrating, like being forced to stand six ft. apart from the next customer in line. Now picture those instructions on a thoughtfully written sign, with artistically designed floor decals to stand on. The idea is to take a crummy situation and add some beauty and positivity into it,” Grazi said.
The signage follows specific guidelines by the CDC, but puts visual design front and center. The company believes that design-forward signage will not only beautify spaces, but also lead to better adherence by the public, further enhancing public health and recovery.
“The art in the entryway of a hotel will set the tone for what kind of experience visitors should expect,” said Lauren Schleider, creative director of Indiewalls. “It provides an emotional context and individual personality for the space that informs how to act and what the visitors’ connection to their environment should be.”
Schleider added, “Hotel art also has the ability to ground travelers and give them a sense of place in the community they’re visiting. Now, more than ever, people are seeking authentic connections to the places and societies that they visit, and artwork has the potential to bridge the two groups. Whether showcasing local artists or exhibiting works that reflect the local look and feel, a good artwork collection will help hotel-goers feel rooted in their travel destination.”
Indiesigns has also launched an e-commerce platform, making it simple for any business across the country to purchase signage and have it drop-shipped to their space. The production is all being done domestically in Brooklyn, NY.
“It’s a tough time for the hotel industry, period,” Grazi said. “But even in difficult times there are hotel leaders and designers who are taking the opportunity to think outside the box, develop new ideas, or build new relationships, which requires creativity and optimism. Everyone speaks about the world getting ‘back to normal’ but perhaps we should strive to get back to something ‘better than normal’. When we get out the other side of this, the hotel leaders and designers who took the time to iterate and innovate will be the next generation of leaders, no doubt.”
Indiesigns offers a wide variety of safety signage that includes social-distancing floor decals; mask requirements; directional signage; occupancy limits; reminders for washing hands; limited supply announcements; fitness cleanliness guidelines; and more.